Tag Archives: Waitrose

Shameless? Indiscreet? Moi?

Last night found me embracing the picnic aspect of the concert I went to at Kenwood house rather too enthusiastically.

No sooner had we settled on the grass among the other fans than I found myself – much to my boyfriend’s dismay – peering indiscreetly at other people’s picnics. In fact, before we’d even unpacked our own dinner, I had craned my neck this way and that and smugly rated the efforts of everyone around me.

There were the M&S devotees, rifling through their lime-green plastic bags and yanking open aggressively sealed plastic containers of Parma ham, hummus, and mozzarella balls with sun-dried tomatoes (then passing round the Percy Pigs). Yawn, I sighed.

Then there was the Waitrose camp, their Waitrose convenience food stored in convenient Waitrose cool bags (or else nestled in large designer hampers). They were tucking heartily into mini pork pies and posh-ly processed potato salads. They had all the gear – not only wine glasses but wine glass holders – but there was no… X-factor.

There was one pitiful girl sat spearing vegetables from a slab of couscous in her single Tupperware: everyone in her group was also guarding the one dish they’d brought along with them. I averted my eyes, embarrassed for them.

As for the couple in front of us, they were tucking into just one course: a bottle of red wine. Enough said.

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Macaroon wars

It started with Rachel, who brought her chewy and moreish macaroons into the office and proceeded to ply us with them – not once, but several times – as she perfected her technique.

Not to be outdone, Monaz – a Leith’s graduate – produced dinky and delicate, perfectly smooth and enviably uniform pink ‘macarons’, with a brittle crust and Nutella filling, for our delectation.

Charmaine was next up, handing round yet more delicious homemade macaroons delicately scented with Earl Grey.

I’d actually planned to avoid this particular bandwagon, but curiosity finally got the better of me and the other week I found myself throwing my hat into the macaroon ring. I spent another rainy Sunday afternoon amusing myself by piping miniature dog poo-esque spirals of meringue mixture onto a baking tray and trying to bring sugar to the soft ball stage with only a glass of water for guidance.

Waitrose provided the recipe. I whipped out the piping bag for another showdown. And here’s the result.

Chocolate pistachio macaroons

Not perfect... but not so shabby either

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